Supreme Court to consider TN's plea

Supreme Court to consider TNs plea

Governor’s refusal to appoint minister

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider a plea of the Tamil Nadu government against the refusal of Governor RN Ravi to appoint senior DMK leader K Ponmudi as a minister in the state cabinet.

The governor has recently refused to re-induct the senior DMK leader and former Higher Education Minister into the state cabinet, saying it would be against constitutional morality. A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra took note of the submissions of senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for

the state government, there was some urgency in the matter which should be listed for hearing.

The state government has sought a direction to the governor to act as per the aid and advice of the council of ministers led by Chief Minister M K Stalin. “This is the same errant governor, who was earlier dealt with by this court. The Supreme Court stayed the conviction (of Ponmudi). The chief minister recommends his appointment. The governor writes a letter and says it is constitutionally immoral,” Singhvi said. “Please send an email. I will look into the email,” the CJI said.

The governor, in a letter to Stalin, said the apex court only suspended the conviction of Ponmudi by way of an interim order. The governor refused to appoint the leader in the Stalin cabinet. The state government has filed an interim plea in a petition relating to non-grant of assent to bills cleared by the legislative assembly.

It has referred to a constitutional scheme to buttress the submission to say that the governor is bound by the aid and advice of the council of ministers.

The plea said that once the conviction was stayed, there was no legal and constitutional bar on re-induction of Ponmudi in the state cabinet.

The senior DMK leader was disqualified as an MLA under the Representation of the People Act after the Madras High Court recently reversed his acquittal in the disproportionate assets case. The top court stayed the conviction and the sentence of the leader who was sentenced to over two year jail term.

The state government then reinstated Ponmudi as a legislator after the Supreme Court suspended his conviction in a disproportionate assets case. The governor said the conviction and sentence have only been suspended and not set aside.

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